CH5: Shanghai Event Spaces

OK, we realize "event space" is a pretty broad category. Any random bar or public park can be an event space, right? Yeah. Yeah, we know. Once in awhile, though, you might need to find some space that gives off a certain vibe, whether it be professionalism, or an association with creativity and the arts... or something. And so, some CH picks for solid event space rental options about town.

River South Art Center

1247 Suzhou Lu, near Xinzha Lu

This century-old former warehouse on Suzhou Creek regularly hosts art exhibitions and events. It's best for large-scale events, with three floors available for rent -- roughly 700-square-meters per floor. The building itself is attractive, with wooden floors and pitched roofs, with the added bonus of a bar and optional catering service. Each story is linked by an industrial-chic steel staircase and exposed brick-work landing. An advantage to this one is that it's available at any hours within the 24-hour day, so this is the one to use for late-night shindigs.

Sample costs: 40,000rmb for one floor; 60,000rmb for two floors. Cost is per day.

Closest metro stop: Hanzhong Lu, 15 minute walk.

800 Show

800 Changde Lu, near Changping Lu

Located in central Jing'an, 800 Show is a former factory space that was renovated in 2009 by German architectural studio logon. The entire complex consists of a central hall surrounded by offices inhabited by creative-industry businesses. The central hall is a striking, glass-fronted building that's regularly used to host events, exhibitions and fashion shows. The thing is massive -- rent this one if you've got a "go big or go home" approach -- not to mention budget.

Sample costs: 110,000rmb for the entire building [Updated]. Cost is per day.

Closest metro stop: Changping Lu, 5 minute walk.

The Nut (Closed)

162-2 Yongniang Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu

The Nut Lab is a multicultural arts and events space aimed at providing a lively space for the consumption of culture. Since 2009, the team there has been curating a diverse array of interdisciplinary exhibitions. It's a versatile space with specialized tools and equipment (ie, for sound, lighting, visual projections, interactive displays, etc.) to develop unique events and exhibitions. The entire space is 200-square-meters, and thanks to The Nut's own regular art exhibits, screenings and creative conferences, it has a favorable reputation among hip, artsy-creative types as a cool venue with an alternative vibe. Yes, bar service is available. 'Course.

Sample costs: 11,000rmb for a full day (10 hours), 7,500rmb for a half day (5 hours). Note, events held on Sundays or public holidays incur an extra 1,000rmb charge, and any overtime hours cost 1,000rmb per hour.

Closest metro stop: Madang Lu, 5 minute walk.


789 Shanxi Bei Lu, near Wuding Lu

Metis, a qualitative research and creative branding consultancy, rents out its space for events, conferences, market research and seats for co-working. There are two floors -- the lower floor is ideal for smaller events like screenings, conferences and private parties, while the upper floor is good for renting out work space. The bottom level includes two conference rooms, one of which has a one-way mirror that's used for conducting focus group research. There's an outdoor patio lined with plants, lots of windows that flood the place with natural lighting and classy antique Chinese wooden furniture throughout. A solid choice if you're putting together a one-off event that's looking for a more intimate feel.

Sample costs: Variable according to amount of space, length of time, number of attendees, equipment needed, etc. -- contact Metis directly for quotes.

Closest metro stop: Changping Lu, 5 minute walk.

Central Studios

Bld 1, 751 Huangpi Nan Lu, near Jianguo Dong Lu

Central Studios' chief service is offering up its several photo studios up for rent, with an in-house team of pros to consult on shooting, styling and post-production. Thanks to its strong association with fashion, photography and local pop culture, though, it's also become a popular venue pick for private functions and public community gatherings. Since a large portion of Central Studios is open space that's meant to be versatile according to the subjects being shot, the events area can be completely changed to fit the needs of the event -- be it a public fair, a film screening, gallery exhibitions, workshops or even runway shows. The CS staff can also help with the creative marketing and production design for events held there.

Sample costs: Variable according to amount of space, length of time, number of attendees, equipment needed, etc. -- contact Central Studios directly for quotes.

Closest metro stop: Madang Lu, 5 minute walk.


Update Dec. 3, 2013: price for 800 Show originally listed as 11,000rmb; correct cost is 110,000rmb.

Update Oct. 29, 2014: The Nut is now closed.


Photography by Brandon McGhee